Learn online at MQ

Learn online at MQ

Learning online

As Macquarie University moves to an online teaching environment from Week 4 of S1, 2020, here are some tips and links to help you transit into the online learning space quickly and easily. You can also download them as a checklist to help you set up key MQ tools, sort your online study strategies and find assistance if you need it.

The MQ COVID-19 financial assistance loan is available to current students with financial needs in accessing technologies required to study online and in managing the costs of living.

What tools does Macquarie use?

You've probably used many Macquarie systems and tools for learning already in the first few weeks of session. For more information, follow these links to user guides for nine key tools used at Macquarie in the list below:

  1. It all starts with iLearn! Links to lecture recordings (via the Echo360 Active Learning Platform) are located in your subject iLearn units.
  2. Lectures are recorded using ECHO360.
  3. While on-campus classes are suspended, you’ll be participating in tutorials and seminar classes through Zoom videoconferencing.
  4. Complete your weekly course readings online via Leganto.
  5. Begin researching your assignments with the Library’s Subject and Research Guides.
  6. Find sources and evidence via the Multisearch discovery platform.
  7. Leave voice comments in an online forum, or create a digital presentation, using Voicethread. You can also upload audio files to iLearn with ECHO360.
  8. You can download software required for discipline-specific assignments from AppStream.
  9. Upload your completed assignment through Turnitin.

How can I collaborate with other people in groups?

There are many digital tools you can use for remote group work and collaboration:

  • Participate in virtual group meetings with your course-mates via the Zoom and Skype video- and tele-conferencing apps while you’re off campus.
  • Organise and assign group tasks and monitor task progress using Microsoft Planner.
  • Collaborate on group work and manage projects more effectively and productively through Microsoft TeamsSlack or Monday.com.
  • Share files and documents using the cloud through Microsoft OneDrive or Dropbox.

In addition, consider using digital tools for study activities. The following topics in StudyWISE include suggestions of tools, apps and resources for:

Not confident with these tools? LinkedIn Learning provides training on software and many other skills. Students at Macquarie can access LinkedIn Learning resources via the Library subscription.

While the Learning Skills Unit doesn’t endorse specific apps, software or hardware products, our aim is to connect you with information that helps you make thoughtful choices.

What tools can I use for video presentations?

You may have assessment tasks that require you to create a video presentation. Consider the following easy-to-use options:

Alternatively, if you’re looking for software that has more advanced features and you're willing to take up a paid subscription, these might interest you:

Not confident with these tools? LinkedIn Learning provides training on software and many other skills. Students at Macquarie can access LinkedIn Learning resources via the Library subscription.

While the Learning Skills Unit doesn’t endorse specific apps, software or hardware products, our aim is to connect you with information that helps you make thoughtful choices.

Strategies for studying online

Like studying on-campus (or face to face), studying online takes planning, time management and uninterrupted time for focused, critical thinking. Below are some strategies to help you stay on track with your online study.

Create an effective study space

Create a study space - Having a designated spot to learn off-campus allows you to ‘get in the zone’ more quickly.  Choose a place that you’re comfortable in and encourages focus (i.e. don’t study in bed!). It might also be helpful to organise a small study ‘survival kit’ (pens, notebook, laptop, coffee cup).

Take care of your eyes, neck and back - Although mobile devices are built for portability, they’re not necessarily designed for comfort. Check that your study space is well-lit. Can you angle the screen to avoid excessive glare/reflection? Do your chair and desk allow you to sit comfortably? We recommend taking regular study breaks for your mind and your body.

Stay organised and motivated

Block out time for study:

  • At the start of each week, check your study tasks coming up, then prioritise and block out time to complete different activities required.
  • Write out your tasks as SMART goals: this will help you stay focused and achieve more.

Stay motivated:

  • Be realistic about what you can achieve: chunk up your time using the Pomodoro Technique.
  • Use habits (same place, same time, music just for study) to keep yourself going.
  • Reward yourself for tasks achieved.
Make your learning active

Like face-to-face study, effective online learning requires you to actively engage with ideas, problems, scenarios and other course content. It can be easy to ‘watch’ a video of a lecture or to skim through a reading online, but in fact understand very little of what you’ve just read. You can find strategies for learning actively in StudyWISE.

Stay connected

Stay connected with your virtual campus by checking in to iLearn regularly, reading announcements to stay up to date with class ‘events’, contributing to discussion forums and following campus social media for current updates.

Communicate clearly and respectfully (netiquette)

Participating in class is a vital part of learning online. However, keep in mind that emails, and posts on discussion forums and social media are permanent! As in any study or work situation, keep your tone respectful and follow the rules of netiquette:

  • Be gracious when offering feedback (see our guide to participating in discussions).
  • Focus your comments on your colleagues’ ideas rather than their personal identities. See ‘How do I write objectively?’ in StudyWISE for advice on language choices.
  • Never use offensive or derogatory language.

Where can I get help?

Macquarie University provides a variety of support to help you study online.

Your questionLook at:Contact:
I have questions about my class: weekly activities, my readings or my assignment.

In your iLearn unit, check:

  • announcements from your unit convenor
  • discussion forums (someone else in the class might already have asked the same question)
  • your subject unit guide (it's probably been updated, so check for information about the changes)
Post general questions to your class discussion forum.
I need help finding sources or researching my assignment.Subject Guides for resources specific to your subject.Contact the Library: Ask a question on LibChat to get advice from a Librarian, or send us an email.
I need help with planning/ reviewing my assignment.StudyWISE iLearn resources for advice about different assignment types, academic writing strategies and more.Visit the Getting help with your assignment page for ways to get feedback on your assignment drafts.
I’m having trouble with IT issues (finding, downloading, accessing software).Instructions to access and use Macquarie systems and software.Log a help ticket or call OneHelp.
I'm struggling with the costs of living and with accessing technologies required to study online.The MQ COVID-19 financial assistance loans.Contact Student Wellbeing (P: 02 9850 7497, E: wellbeing@mq.edu.au).
I'm feeling stressed and worried.Student Wellbeing services (including the MQ Wellbeing app)

Contact Student Wellbeing (P: 02 9850 7497, E: wellbeing@mq.edu.au) or 1800 CARE MQ (1800 2273 67) for urgent issues.

I’ve got a question and I just don’t know who to contact. Email ask@mq.edu.au: they will forward it to someone who can help.

Putting it to work (skills for the workplace)

Regularly (for example, every session) reflect on ways you've been using technology in your studies.

  1. Update your LinkedIn Profile to showcase the skills you’re developing and tools you've mastered.
  2. Create a portfolio where you can showcase your assessments and classwork to give examples of your skills in action.
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